Database User Guide

How to Use Our Database

Dashboards are like the summary page for our databases and offer a general overview of the categories, countries, or programs on our site. They display information like:

  • Top recipients of certain types of aid
  • The number of recipients for a particular program
  • The number of programs for a particular country or region
  • Various charts and maps

This is a good way to get a basic first look at the data available. Each of SAM’s three databases – Security Sector Assistance, Arms Sales, and Foreign Military Training – has a landing dashboard. 

Accessing Further Information Through the Dashboard

Once on the desired dashboard, you can access details for any of the figures or charts on display. Clicking on these features will ask you if you’d like to continue to the corresponding pivot table where you can find more detailed information. The dashboards also offer descriptions for some types of displayed information. To view these descriptions simply click on the “?” icon next to the panel title.

Dashboard Filters

You can manipulate information on the dashboards by clicking the “Filters” arrow at the top of the page. The various graphics, charts, and numbers displayed will respond to these filters. For example, if you filter by a particular region, only the countries in that region will be taken into account and included in the totals calculated by the dashboard. You can filter information by “Year”, “Recipients”, “Region”, “Program”, and “Funding Department”. It’s important to note that when filtering the dashboard for a range of years, each year must be entered individually and separated by commas (ex. 2009, 2010, 2011, etc.), and you must select “matches (advanced)” from the parameters drop-down to the left of the field that displays the years. After you’ve selected the appropriate filters, click “Run” in the top-right corner of the page.

Recipient & Program Dashboards

Much like the category dashboards, there are also dashboards for programs and recipients. To access these, return to the “Data Landing Page” as mentioned above, and scroll to the bottom of the page. There you will find two drop-down menus where you can select to see the dashboards for recipients (countries or regions) or programs (ex. Foreign Military Sales). Select the desired program or recipient and click the “Go” button in the middle of the box. The recipient dashboards will display a variety of information including economic and security aid trends, arms sales, and U.S. foreign military trainees. They also include a breakdown of the types of training received, the programs through which it was administered, and the number of trainees per each course. The program dashboards display information on total funds allocated through the program, top beneficiaries of the program, regional breakdowns, etc.